'Canterbury’s a nice place to be, and everyone seems very friendly in this part of the world...'
Solicitor, Community Law Canterbury
Originally from Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, Zhe found it easy to settle into life as an international student at UC.
‘It’s been great!’ he says. ‘I met lots of people when I came to New Zealand. Everyone was really friendly and I made many friends in my first year. There is a large Malaysian community here as well, so it really feels just like home.’
He says that the change in pace was exactly what he was looking for when he decided to move here.
‘I wanted a different experience from the big city life that I’m used to, and I needed a change in scenery. Canterbury’s a nice place to be. Life seems less hectic, and everyone seems very friendly in this part of the world.’
With maths as his strongest subject at high school, Zhe says it made sense for him to study Finance at university. He went for the popular option of adding a Law degree to give him even more options after graduation.
By studying towards a double degree, Zhe had taken on a considerable workload, but he found time to relax by travelling, reading, and spending time with his friends. He also augmented his Law studies by volunteering as a caseworker at Community Law Canterbury.
‘I would encourage anyone studying law to volunteer at Community Law Canterbury. I volunteered there before I got a job and it taught me skills that I would not have learnt in a classroom environment,’ he says.
After graduating, Zhe started work at Community Law Canterbury as a Solicitor within the Residential Advisory Service team, assisting homeowners with unsettled insurance claims after the Canterbury earthquakes.
‘It’s an interesting space to work in because of the ever-changing nature of the job,’ he says. ‘As it has been more than five years since the first earthquake, the issues that arise are more complicated than ever. My role is to engage with clients, identify the outstanding issues, work to resolve those issues through utilisation of the expert technical advisors available and to negotiate the homeowner’s claim with the insurer and EQC.’
Zhe says that the major highlight of his time at UC was the MGMT 228 Chinese Business Practices and Culture course, a study tour involving a three-week stay at Zhejiang Gongshang University in Hangzhou and a five-day business trip to Shanghai.
‘One of our group’s tasks was to research the dairy industry and dairy habits in China. It was fun as we got to learn about business practices in China as well as interact with the locals at the same time. It is definitely my favourite course so far! I would definitely recommend it to other students who are looking to do something fun and out of the ordinary while at university.’